Archive for September, 2007

Keep on the Sunny Side of Remodeling

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Striving for that elusive “just so” style becomes a never-ending quest, which can be enjoyed if you don’t stress out about actually attaining it. There is always a better fixture, more complimentary tile and matching shade of paint somewhere if you keep looking.

Highly recommended essay from Alan at Vail Daily on his own kitchen remodel.

Tip for Kitchens with Old Drawers

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Old kitchen drawers have quirks.

You know. There's that narrow one with the little catch when it's halfway out and the big one that you have to kick to get all the way back in.

And then there's that wonderful “binding” action where you have to maintain perfect straightness or it grinds to a halt.

Yes, this too is an important part of the human experience. But here's a tip from a friend that might help a little. (more…)

Why Remodeling is More Stressful for the Wife

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Great insight from Jeff Opdyke:

So I see this experience as a lesson learned: When it comes to remodeling — and our kitchen is next — never equate your spouse's silence with acceptance. Your passion about a project may overwhelm your partner into submission.

Another really huge point brought out by Amy Opdyke is that nearly all of the “enforcement” fell on her shoulders.

Not only did she have to deal with workers in the house each day, deal with the short-notice questions of preference that came up, take innumerable trips out for small parts and whatnots, but worst of all she had to… (more…)

Create More Storage Space in your Kitchen

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

From the Oklahoman:

If there's one room in the house that's never big enough, it has to be the kitchen. Wouldn't it be great if there were a simple way to “cook up” extra space without an expensive (and messy) remodel? For do-it-yourselfers, this kitchen island project is an easy, attractive and inexpensive way to add valuable storage and work space.

The article goes on to recommend that do-it-yourselfers buy plans for a kitchen island.

But how realistic is that? (more…)

Ranch Remodel Godsend

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

After writing my previous post, it occurred to me what a godsend this built-in cabinets series is going to be for owners of Ranch-style homes. There are bazillions of them out there and I'm one. We really struggle when it comes to making this kind of house into something really special that we want to grow old in. In the past, our options have been: (more…)

Are Built-In Cabinets Space-Wasters?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I've been producing some in-depth videos on built-ins. Check it out if you haven't yet.

Anyway, the video series has provoked an important question:

“By creating additional wall features or thickening existing walls in order to create beautiful nooks for built-ins, aren't we wasting a lot of space inside the walls?” (Talking about voids in the wall that were once part of the living space and are — for aesthetic or practical reasons — not able to be captured by the built-in cabinet. So, effectively, that space is lost to the homeowner.)

My first answer is to say that a clever designer will waste only a negligible volume of your house inside those wall cavities.

My second answer is much more intriguing… (more…)

Is it Feasible to Insulate without Removing Sheetrock/Panel/Plaster?

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Yes. Here's a great photostream from Flickr that shows such an operation in action.

I've done something similar as a service to clients who are having me put in large-ish crown or cabinetry. Either of these makes for an opportunity to insulate without having to do any follow-up mudwork or painting. I simply make a hole and pour in the little styrofoam pellets.

The link above shows a more sophisticated approach by an insulation crew.

“A Simple Refinishing” of your Cabinets?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Original Quote from the Indy Post:

Because the kitchen work was such a large project, the Bontragers decided to work with what was already in the master bath to control cost. They kept the cherry cabinets and enhanced their original beauty via a simple refinishing.

What could this mean? (more…)

If you screw a bookshelf to the wall, does that make it a “Built In”?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

While “fastened to the structure” is one of the definitions of a Built In (or, Builtin), most of us expect a built-in cabinet to do and be much more than that.

I've been creating a series of videos on built ins . If you have any interest in built ins, you'll want to look at them soon and make comments (I'll make it worth your while). They will only be available there for a limited time.